• Merlin Hammer III

Merlins Top 10 Baits of 2021

Hoosier tournament angler, Merlin Hammer, is the definition of a Tackle Junkie - which is why we asked him to give us his top 10 Baits of 2021.


 

STARTING AT NUMBER 10 | CULPRIT 10 INCH WORM

CULPRIT 10 INCH WORM

Coming in at number 10, one of my tried and true lures that I’ve used my whole life is a @culpritfishing Worm. Specifically this season, it was the 10inch version rigged on a 3/0 @hayabusa.fishing EWG Hook and a 3/16oz @wootungsten weight.


This was great for me from pre-spawn, all the way to the end of the season. It’s just one of those lures that when you use it, it does the hard work for you!



 

NUMBER 9 | RAPALA DT6

RAPALA DT6

The @rapalausa DT6 crankbait has become one of my go to reaction baits and is another one that serves me well throughout the whole year.


I like to do a burn stop retrieve a lot of the time and they usually light it up. I do like to replace the hooks with some @mustadfishing KVD triple grips as well.



 

NUMBER 8 | YUM WOOLY HAWGTAIL


YUM WOOLY HAWGTAIL

Next, we have the @yum_baits Wooly Hawgtail. I like to Texas rig this on a 2/0 @gamakatsu.usa EWG wide gap hook with a 3/16oz @wootungsten weight.


This is one of my go to creature bait and produces year round. This also excels on a Carolina rig, but anyway you fish it, you can’t beat it!









 

NUMBER 7 | ZOOM MAGNUM FINESSE WORM

ZOOM MAGNUM FINESSE WORM

The @thezoombaitcompany Magnum Finesse Worm - This bait is one of my favorites, particularly around the spawn, it also does well when the bite gets a little finicky.


I like to Texas rig this on a 3/0 @hayabusa.fishing EWG Hook and a 1/8 or 3/16oz @wootungsten weight. A great thing about this worm is you don’t have to really do much with it to make it work, stick around to see what comes up next!







 

NUMBER 06 | BERKLEY MAXSCENT GENERAL

BERKLEY MAXSCENT GENERAL

Continuing with the countdown of my top 10 top producing baits of 2021, you know there had to be a stick worm on this list. At number 6, I have the @berkleyfishing Maxscent General.


Most of the time I usually rig mine weightless Texas rigged with a @hayabusa.fishing 3/0 EWG hook and let it do the job from there.


You all know what to do with one of these, but there you have it



 

HERE ARE MERLINS TOP 5 OF 2021


 

NUMBER 5 | MEGABASS SPARK SHAD

Ok, now let’s get into the meat of the top 10 baits of 2021!

MEGABASS SPARK SHAD

Coming in next at number 5, we have the small but mighty, @megabassamerica Spark Shad rigged on an Okashira Screw Head.


This little lure smashes them everywhere and works great for both smallmouth and largemouth. When the bite is hot or the fish are finicky, you can toss this thing out, reel it fast or slow and it just gets bit!

 

NUMBER 4 | MEGABASS DARK SLEEPER


MEGABASS DARK SLEEPER

One of my favorites, coming in at number 4 is the @megabass_inc Dark Sleeper.


This hybrid style swimbait/jig/fish catching machine is almost always part of my arsenal and instead of showing you a couple new ones, here’s some that have put in some hard work this season and continue to catch them.


If you haven’t given one of these a shot yet, you should, because you are missing out!





 

NUMBER 3 | MEGABASS VISION ONETEN +1

MEGABASS VISION ONETEN +1

This is a no brainer, at number 3 we have the @megabassamerica Vision Oneten +1.


Usually I would go with the regular Oneten but this season that little bit of extra depth was key and it straight up smashed them.


There were multiple 50 plus fish days caught with this lure, especially the first half of the season. If you don’t have at least one of these in your box, go get one now!

 

NUMBER 2 | DEPS BUSTER K

DEPS BUSTER K

Coming up next on my list of my top 10 producing baits of 2021 is the @deps_official Buster K, coming in at number 2.


This isn’t your normal everyday frog, it’s so much better! I have caught countless fish on this thing and it’s something I always have tied on from sunup to sundown, every day of the season!











 

MERLIN'S TOP PICK FOR 2021

 

NUMBER 1 | ZOOM SUPER FLUKE

ZOOM SUPER FLUKE

Here it is. The moment you’ve all been waiting for, my top bait in my top 10 baits of 2021, the amazing, @thezoombaitcompany Super Fluke!


This is always rigged up, no matter what. It can be fished in pretty much every condition, it’s hands down my go to lure.


I like to rig mine weightless Texas rigged and on a 3/0 @hayabusa.fishing EWG hook. I put more keepers in the boat with this lure than any other and that is why it is number 1.


 

Well What do you think?

How many of your personal favorites were in Merlins top picks for 2021?

Leave us and Merlin some comments.

 

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Merlin Hammer III
LEARN MORE ABOUT MERLIN HAMMER III

Follow Merlin on Instagram: @number3bassin

TourneyX Profile:

https://tourneyx.com/app/profile/Number3bassin

Fishing Chaos Profile: https://app.fishingchaos.com/profile/@number3bassin/about

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